British Lawmakers Form Bipartisan Group to Limit Late-Term Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Lawmakers Form Bipartisan Group to Limit Late-Term Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 12,

London, England ( — Members of the British Conservative and Labour parties are coming together to support an amendment to the new Human Tissues and Embryology Bill to lower the limit on late-term abortions from 24 weeks into pregnancy to 20. Tory MP Nadine Dorries is leading the effort and an unnamed Labour MP will work with her.

Dorries has led previous efforts to reduce the late-term abortion limit and was a member of the Commons science and technology committee that suggested expanding abortion in England.

“There will be a joint effort on the amendment because that is the only way this thing is going to work,” she told the London Daily Mail newspaper.

Dorries also asked the British government to let members of the Labour Party have a free vote on her amendment and not bind them to the government’s pro-abortion position. British MPs of both parties have typically been given a free vote on abortions in the past.

However, as a government bill, Labour Party members are likely to be pressured to vote for it, regardless of how many amendments are added.

“This is not about party politics, it is about representing public opinion,” she said.

The lawmakers aren’t the only ones seeking amendments to the bill as Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris is reportedly planning to offer an amendment to allow nurses to do abortions without the involvement or supervision of a licensed physician.

To the chagrin of pro-life groups, the bill could also promote abortions by removing the requirement that two doctors sign off on the abortion procedure beforehand.

Abortions are on the rise in Britain and last year more than 194,000 abortions were done in England and Wales, an increase from the 176,000 done in 2002. The number of repeat abortions and figures for teen abortions increased as well.